Impostor syndrome hovers uncertainly between psychiatry, psychology, and popular culture. It is absent from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), yet there are plenty of research studies exploring the prevalence of impostor syndrome in different groups of people (psychologists talk of "Impostor Phenomenon," not "Impostor Syndrome"). In its turn, this scientific literature is overshadowed by endless websites, self-help books, coaching guides—and blog posts like this one!—about impostor syndrome. Their usual aim is to help sufferers by informing them that their self-doubts fit a pattern, and are shared by many others, including celebrities, artists, and sporting stars. … [Read more...] about Shame, Guilt, and Impostor Syndrome
Guilt culture vs shame culture
The widespread use of tattoos and body piercing is a form of ritual self-injury enacted as part of a larger social ritual of becoming and belonging. We are continually asked to examine our own conditioning and beliefs about the continuum of these acts. Some prominent methods of socially condoned injury include self-flagellation in certain sects of Christianity, male circumcision among Jews and Muslims as well as by allopathic medical professionals, female genital mutilation, tattooing, scarification among Pacific Northwest tribes, and the American Indian Sun Dance among the Plains peoples. … [Read more...] about Cultural Practices of Self-Harm
Highly observant Jews obey 613 laws regarding all aspects of their lives. Many Hasidic men believe it is their role to force, cajole and corral their family members into adherence. The culture is also highly patriarchal, with men's opinions and goals seen as more valuable than women's. While female subservience is expected in many families, this is different from the extreme domination of coercive control. That is, while some Hasidic men try to justify their coercive control and even physical violence with cultural explanations, neither their religion nor their culture justify this kind of domination of their wives. … [Read more...] about Ultra-Orthodox Jews, Domestic Violence, and Coercive Control
Jeffrey borrowed his father’s car without permission in order to go to a high school football game with his friends. During the outing, the car was damaged. He returned the car and said nothing to his father. But then he began to feel tremendous stress and anxiety. He didn’t know what he would do once his father realized that the car was damaged. Would he come clean? Would he deny that he drove the car? Would he be able to pull off the lie? He just got more and more anxious. … [Read more...] about Does Thinking About Problems Make Them Better?
So what can be new in Mama's Last Hug that wasn't already present in Good Natured, in Our Inner Ape, in The Age of Empathy, and other books by de Waal? Well, of course, there's the fact that the book was written in the midst of a presidency filled with simian theatrics, and that we're treated to de Waal's expert account of the remarkable similarities between the president's behaviors and body language and that of numerous chimpanzee and other ape males the author has known intimately over the course of his studies at several zoos and field stations. De Waal's detailed description of the president's difficulties debating a female challenger in 2016, and of the classic ape-like body language he displayed during a much-discussed debate, is priceless. So is a related, revealing discussion of unanticipated implications of the late John McCain's choice of an attractive young female running mate in 2008. The chapter about the social dynamics of power and the … [Read more...] about Showing the Alpha Male the Door